Amazon is already a terrific place to find great deals and now it’s about to get even better. Amazon this week unveiled a new feature called “Make an Offer” that will actually let you haggle with sellers over the prices they’re offering for their goods.
Here’s the lowdown: Any seller who might be willing to accept lower prices can choose to have the “Make an Offer” button added to their items’ pages, which will allow prospective buyers to send in a proposed new purchase price. The sellers are free to accept or reject any offers they receive and to continue haggling with customers until both come to a mutually agreed upon price.
Although it seems a little counterintuitive to think that sellers would want a feature that would help users get something for less than the asking price, Amazon says this sellers have been requesting this feature for a long time now.
“In a recent survey of our sellers, nearly half of the respondents told us that the ability to negotiate prices with customers would be important to drive more sales on Amazon,” explains Amazon Marketplace VP Peter Faricy. “‘Make an Offer’ delivers that functionality and makes customers feel confident they are getting an item they want at the lowest price possible.”
Amazon’s full press release follows below.
Amazon Unveils ‘Make an Offer’ for Customers to Negotiate Lower Prices
New pricing feature allows customers to offer to buy items at even lower prices
To start, customers can negotiate prices on more than 150,000 items across Sports and Entertainment Collectibles, Collectible Coins and Fine Art
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 9, 2014– Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced the ‘Make an Offer’ experience that allows customers to negotiate even lower prices on thousands of items. Expanding on Amazon’s traditional fixed price model, the new pricing feature allows customers to offer to buy items at even lower prices. If agreed upon, customers can then purchase the items at a savings from the listed price. To start, more than 150,000 items from sellers on Amazon are enabled with the ‘Make an Offer’ experience across Sports and Entertainment Collectibles, Collectible Coins and Fine Art. The new feature will expand to hundreds of thousands of items from sellers in 2015. Customers can browse ‘Make an Offer’ eligible items at http://www.amazon.com/makeanoffer.
Here’s how it works: Sellers enable the ‘Make an Offer’ feature for items to show customers they are willing to negotiate for a lower price than the price listed. When selecting ‘Make an Offer’ on an item’s product detail page, a customer can enter and submit a new price of their choosing. The seller will receive the customer’s lower price offer through email, at which point the seller can accept, reject or counter the offer. The seller and customer can continue to negotiate through email until the negotiation is complete. When a seller accepts a customer’s offer, the customer is notified and can place the item into their shopping cart at the agreed upon new price for checkout and purchase.
“The new ‘Make an Offer’ experience is a game-changer for Amazon customers looking for great prices on one-of-a-kind items, and for sellers looking to communicate and negotiate directly with customers in an online marketplace environment just like they do normally in their own physical store or gallery,” said Peter Faricy, VP for Amazon Marketplace. “In a recent survey of our sellers, nearly half of the respondents told us that the ability to negotiate prices with customers would be important to drive more sales on Amazon. ‘Make an Offer’ delivers that functionality and makes customers feel confident they are getting an item they want at the lowest price possible.”
“The ‘Make an Offer’ experience gives customers more control and better deals than they may have received prior to this program,” said Steven Costello, Executive Vice President of Steiner Sports Memorabilia, Inc., headquartered in New Rochelle, New York. “The negotiation experience will hopefully get more communication between us and our customers to help us better gauge the price for certain items. We love the ‘Make and Offer’ program, and it is only going to get bigger. Once customers know this is an available feature more offers will come, leading to more sales.”
The ‘Make an Offer’ feature is not an auction format. All negotiations are 1:1 and private between individual customers and sellers. A seller is able to accept a customer’s offer at any time. The intention is to lower prices, and a customer negotiating with a seller will never pay more than the listed price.
“The ‘Make an Offer’ experience is unique as it provides a new and engaging way for Amazon customers to negotiate lower prices. I think it will broaden my customer base,” said Spencer Eggers, owner of Coast to Coast Collectibles, headquartered outside the San Francisco Bay Area. “This new shopping experience could also increase customer loyalty because it will give serious buyers the opportunity to have direct communication with the seller to determine a fair, agreed upon price. It will be like a Black Friday sale 365 days a year.”